This study compared seven syntactic measures which can be automatically generated by the Computerized Profiling (CP) software: Mean Length of Utterance in morphemes or words (MLUm or MLUw), Mean Syntactic Length (MSL), the Index of Productive Syntax (IPSyn), the Picture Elicited Scoring Procedure (PESP) for the Language Analysis Remediation and Screening Profile (LARSP), the Syntactic Complexity Score (MSC) scoring of LARSP, and Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS). Language samples came from 192 children, 106 typically developing children, ages 5;6 to 11;2 and 86 children with language impairment, ages 5;6 to 11;1. Patterns of correlation were consistent for children with or without language impairment. All measures were computed with CP software, and all coding decisions that were made by the software were accepted. The three measures of length (MLUm, MLUw, and MSL) were highly intercorrelated. MSC correlated with the measures of length and with DSS. DSS correlated with the length measures, though not as highly as MSC. DSS also correlated with IPSyn. IPSyn correlated moderately with PESP, correlated less with MSC, and correlated the least with the measures of length. PESP correlated moderately with each measure. PESP, DSS, and IPSyn correlated more highly for the children with language impairment. These measures correlated highly sometimes and sometimes they did not correlate much. This suggests that they are measuring different aspects of syntactic ability.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Communication Disorders



Date Submitted


Document Type





syntactic complexity, syntax, CP, MLU, DSS, IPSyn, PESP, MSC